HC Deb 03 July 1919 vol 117 c1210W

asked the Attorney-General whether his attention has been called to the pressing demand from merchants and traders generally as to the termination of Orders in Council issued under the Defence of the Realm Act; whether he will state whether, in the Termination of the Present War (Definition) Act, Section 2 of Clause 1 will take effect on the ratification of the Treaty of Peace, signed on Saturday last, being agreed to by four of the Powers signing the Peace Treaty; and whether the date-to be declared will be fixed by the ratification mentioned of any four Powers?


Section 1 (1) of the Termination of the Present War (Definition) Act (8 and 9 G 5, C 59), empowers His Majesty in Council to declare-what date is to be treated as the date of the termination of the War, and Section 1 (2) provides that the date so declared shall be as nearly as may be the date of the exchange or deposit of ratifications of the Treaty or Treaties of Peace. It is open to the King in Council, if it is thought fit, to fix the date by reference to the exchange or deposit of ratifications of the Treaty with Germany only, and to treat the ratifications by the four principal Powers as sufficient. But it is a matter of discretion. It may be thought advisable-to wait until the Treaties with the other enemy Powers have been made and ratified. My attention has not been called to the demand referred to.